When filming began on The Wiz in New York in the late ’70s, the huge and elaborate set was the largest production the city had ever seen. Since the director, Sidney Lumet, was a die-hard New Yorker, he envisioned an urban setting for the film and transformed New York into his insane version of Oz. The film—starring Diana Ross as Dorothy, Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow, and Richard Pryor as the Wiz—has the yellow brick road leading Dorothy and her pals through Nathan’s Hot Dogs in Coney Island, subway stations, and a perfume factory to get to the Emerald City (a/k/a the World Trade Center). This sing-along screening should be an extra treat for lovers of the Ross/Jackson duet, “Ease On Down the Road,” Jackson’s “You Can’t Win,” and Lena Horne’s sort-of-spooky and hilarious solo as Glinda, the Good Witch, “If You Believe in Yourself.”

Sat., July 18, 11 a.m., 2009

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 8, 2009

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